Review: Nev Pearce
Photos : JD Garrahy
American alt-rock juggernauts Everclear have just kicked off the massive 17-date Australian tour that will take them through to the end of the month.
As a long-time fan of the band, I was pretty stoked that my city of the Gold Coast was included in the run. Especially since I missed them last time they were here due to becoming unwell the week leading up to the gig, which was a massive bummer considering how amazing people said they were.
Well, tonight I get the chance to make up for it and what better place to see them than Miami Marketta where I used to broadcast my radio show from a decade ago. As you could imagine that alone was pretty cool for me and a great way to celebrate that milestone with one of my favourite bands.
Kicking off the night are local punk legends Fake News who draw the punters in early with their high energy and upbeat catchy as fuck tunes.
Ripping into Checking In from their Everyday Warrior EP, Fake News are one hell of a good time!
You can tell this isn’t their first major support either. Having previously opened for bands like Guttermouth, Zebrahead and No Fun At All to name a few, and while Everclear isn’t necessarily punk, their influences from the genre are in their DNA so it isn’t too much of a stretch for these lads to be on the same bill. It gives the fans a little something different than the usual rock/Indy opener which is refreshing and really cool to see.
After a blazing set which included a taste of new material like their latest single Nothing Town, Fake News wrap things up with the track Broken Bones to a very pumped-up crowd.
One thing is for sure you can guarantee that they have won over a ton of new fans tonight with their killer performance and infectious energy that will no doubt see them playing bigger venues in the future.
By the time Everclear are about to hit the stage, the sold-out venue is packed tight with punters, despite the hellish summer temperatures in the state today and everyone already in a sweaty condition. The vibe in the room is overwhelmingly positive as the Beach Boys-inspired opening sample to So Much For the Afterglow blasts through the speakers and Art Alexakis and his crew are greeted with cheers and screams as the song kicks in.
They quickly follow this up with Everything to Everyone and the fan favourite Heroin Girl, which is an absolute mosh pit detonator and gets the place moving and singing along, setting the tone for what’s to come.
Now I’ve been a fan of Everclear since Sparkle and Fade dropped back in 1995, so hearing songs like Heartspark Dollarsign, The Twistinside, Strawberry and Summerland throughout the set is pretty special for me.
On top of that, you have all the other hard-hitting tracks that the band have become known for like AM Radio, Wonderful and the emotionally driven Father of Mine which is incredibly moving live and barely a dry eye in sight.
Everclear are also celebrating the 30th anniversary of their first album World of Noise by including Loser Makes Good and Nervous & Weird in their set, it’s mind-blowing to think the band has been around for 32 years and how many incredible songs Art has written, hearing where it all began is a real treat for fans and some that may not be familiar with the earlier material.
Now it’s no secret that frontman Art Alexakis was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS in 2019, knowing this and how much he puts into his performance physically and vocally you can’t help but respect and admire his determination and love for what he does especially with the many tour dates ahead of him, which would even be a mission for a band half his age!
Truly inspiring stuff and why he is one of my biggest musical heroes.
Towards the end of the set Local God is sadly cut short due to a technical issue with the venue’s sound equipment (probably due to the Aussie summer heat) and for a minute or two, it looks to be all over leaving the fans and band themselves confused and frustrated.
Once this is fixed Everclear come back in swinging hard with I Will Buy You a New Life, Summerland, the massive mainstream hit Santa Monica and a cover of The Vaselines Molly’s Lips sending the pit into a frenzy and wrapping up a very sweaty and satisfying night filled with absolute rock and roll bangers from one of the best bands on the planet, Everclear who know how to do their job and do it very very well!
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